The economy has so much going for it: low inflation, low interest rates, affordable homes, falling gasoline prices and 27 straight months of job growth. Good times, no?
The economy is slowing, but not because of current conditions. The slowdown reflects the fear of what may be coming next. Economists say employers and investors are paralyzed by the uncertainty surrounding three huge problems: one in the United States, another in Europe and the third in China.
Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Elise Hu (@elisewho), an NPR digital reporter who previously covered campaigns and statehouses in Texas, South Carolina and Missouri.
After a week of escalating violence in Syria, the chief U.N. official there in the country said today that efforts to resolve the conflict have had little effect. It was a bleak assessment from the man leading the United Nations observer mission for the past six months. NPR's Deborah Amos joins us from Damascus, where she has been out with observers assessing the situation.
And Deb, what was the message today from Major General Robert Mood?
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Summer dust storms in Arizona have a funny name - haboobs - but they can be deadly. This summer, Arizona transportation officials turned to poetry in their safety campaign, encouraging Twitter users to tweet haikus, like this one from Mindy Lee: Haboobs blow through town. In one instant it is dark. Pull over and wait. And here's Will Watson's: You're not a Jedi. This is not Tatooine, Luke. Pull over, man. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
"Tokyo police have arrested the last fugitive member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, Katsuya Takahashi, who was on the run for 17 years," NHK WORLD reports.
The 54-year-old suspect was taken into custody today in Tokyo. As NHK says, "Takahashi was wanted in connection with the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in March, 1995 and other Aum-related crimes. He allegedly helped one of the perpetrators flee after the attack."
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Egypt's transition to democracy has taken a blow, one so serious that opposition forces are calling it a coup. The country's Supreme Constitutional Court yesterday issued two rulings. One dissolved Egypt's first freely elected parliament, now filled mostly with Islamists. The other threw out a law that forbade members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's regime from running for high office.
Torn Greek (left) and European Union flags fly at the entrance of an abandoned factory in the industrial zone of Komotini about 500 miles from Athens. Sunday's parliamentary election will go a long way toward determining whether Greece stays in the EU.
Greeks are headed back to the polls Sunday after last month's inconclusive parliamentary election left the country without a governing coalition. And like the last time, people are polarized over harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece as part of a large European economic bailout.